McDonald's execs found themselves in hot water this week over Happy Meal toys that some parents swear are swearing at their kids.
The toys are part of a promotion for the new "Minions" movie that hit theaters on July 10. Like many Happy Meal toys, they are small and plastic and they make noises when you whack them on a table. In this case, it's the noises causing all the fuss. Some parents insist that one of the lines the toy repeats is, "What the f---."
Not everyone is convinced that what they're hearing is a curse word. Rasoal Hall wasn't sure, so he posted this video and asked for feedback. Give it a listen and see what you think:
To be honest, I think it's a stretch. I literally had to close my eyes and put earphones on to hear the part that everyone's talking about. If this toy had come inside a Happy Meal that I'd bought for my kids, I might laugh a little at the inside joke and let it go. My kids would be none the wiser, so why make a bigger deal about it? They don't know the phrase, and I doubt they could pick it up from this toy.
Not surprisingly, a spokesperson for McDonald's denied any suggestion that the toy is swearing, stating in a news release "Minions speak Minionese, which is a random combination of languages and nonsense words and sounds. Minionese has no translation to or any meaning in any recognized language. Any perceived similarities to words within the English language are purely coincidental."
As you might expect, the swearing minion controversy has taken social media by storm, with parents weighing in on both sides of the debate. Hands-down, I think my favorite comment comes from @MrTommyCampbell, who reminds us that a foul-mouthed minion is not the only part of that Happy Meal that may not be so great for your kids:
Parents are upset that McDonald's #Minions sound like they're swearing. I'm upset parents feel a toy's the problematic part of a Happy Meal.
— Tommy Campbell (@MrTommyCampbell) July 10, 2015
What do you think? Is that Happy Meal Minion really teaching kids to swear?
Related on MNN:
- Gadzooks! The truth behind not-so-innocent phrases
- 9 reasons swearing is good for you
- San Francisco bans Happy Meal toys